"What’s all the fuss?” Catt Ramsey asked her Yorkshire terriers, Cagney and Lacey, who stood on their hind legs barking at something out the bay window.
Catt slid her desk chair toward the window of the small apartment she rented over her sister’s cottage in Virginia Beach. A man approached, taking the outdoor stairs two at a time.
After a few quick knocks, the man pushed opened the screen door. “Is this the dog-walking service?”
Catt recognized the man. Brock Randall was a city council member who’d voiced his opinion to the local media about annoying residents who criticized the council over animal rights. “Yes, Mr. Randall. I’m Catt Ramsey, owner of the Woof-Pack Dog Walkers. How may I help you?”
“Have we met?”
“No. I’ve seen you on the news. How can I help you?”
Cagney and Lacey jumped from the window seat to the floor. In tandem, they made their way toward Brock and began sniffing his shoes and pants.
“Please, have a seat.” Catt indicated a chair in front of her desk as she repositioned her chair behind the desk.
Brock wiped his forehead. “This June weather is hot and stifling.”
“How about some water?” Catt reached into the mini fridge near her desk and grabbed two bottles. She extended one toward Brock and opened one for herself.
The dogs went to their water bowl, no longer interested in their visitor.
Brock gulped from his bottle and leaned back in his chair. His gaze swept the small office that held animal supplies, toys, crates, carriers, blankets, and feeding stations. “You run your service from here?”
“Yes. It’s compact, but the rent is cheap, and the location is close to most of my clients. What can I do for you?”
“You come highly recommended by my neighbor, Nora Page.”
“Oh yes. I walk Nora’s dog Hudson most mornings. You must live in the Loft building on 31st street?”
“I offer dog walking and feeding, and I teach basic commands. I operate within a five-mile radius of this area, mainly around the boardwalk. It’s myself and another walker. Here’s my card. It includes my cell and office numbers.” Catt extended the card toward Brock. “Which services are you interested in Mr. Randall?”
“Please call me Brock.”
“Okay, Mr., uh, Brock. Is there one particular service you need?”
“I’m not interested in any of them.”Catt’s eyebrows knitted together. “I don’t understand.”
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